View Full Version : Earnhardt Jr wins at the track where his dad died

07-08-2001, 12:34 AM
Sunday July 8, 2001
Earnhardt Jr. wins Pepsi 400
Associated Press

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. Dale Earnhardt Jr. extracted a storybook triumph from the tragic scene of his father's death Saturday night, winning the Pepsi 400 and producing the most poignant turn yet to this bittersweet season.

Driving a white car on the same track where Dale Earnhardt's famed black machine hit the wall five months ago, Earnhardt Jr. dominated Daytona the way his father used to, proving he may indeed be ready to step in for NASCAR's fallen hero.

Pushed back to sixth place after a late yellow flag, Earnhardt regained the lead after just a lap and a half. A few laps later, teammate and Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip took the second position, then protected Earnhardt as he closed out the dramatic victory.

The celebration was an emotional outpouring fitting for the occasion, as Earnhardt finished his victory lap by spinning doughnuts near the finish line, just the way his daddy did when he finally broke through at the Daytona 500 in 1998.

When that was over, Junior emerged from the car, jumped to the hood and thrust both fists in the air, time and again. Waltrip joined him in the grass. Earnhardt Jr. hugged him, then did a mosh-pit dive into the crew members from all three Dale Earnhardt Inc. teams who mobbed him.

Also rushing toward the celebration was Chocolate Meyers, The Intimidator's longtime gasman, who was awash in tears, along with lots of folks on pit road and in the Earnhardt-loving crowd of about 180,000.

"I'll be crying sooner or later," Junior said. "I dedicate this win to him. There ain't nobody else."

The drama was set up after the third and final yellow flag of the evening, which came with nine laps remaining, when Jeff Gordon's car started smoking, due to a wreck just a few laps earlier.

Earnhardt Jr. took the green flag in seventh, behind Johnny Benson, Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte and four other drivers who weren't a factor until the late accident.

But Junior had the best car all night he led 102 of 160 laps and it took him very little time to prove it.

Then, after he got the lead, he got the help he needed from Waltrip, who remembered the Daytona 500, when The Intimidator got credit for holding off oncoming cars to allow Waltrip and Earnhardt Jr. to finish 1-2 a touching gesture in his last moments on the racetrack.

Never did Waltrip consider going for the victory.

"I just told him this was what it's all about," Waltrip said, of the postrace celebration. "He called me the Monday after the Daytona 500. Of course we were all grieving. He just said, 'I was committed to you buddy.' Those words kept going through my mind."

Flying Tiger
07-08-2001, 12:37 AM
Oh man...I think I might cry. That's great for him.

07-08-2001, 05:59 AM
I know Daytona 500 is quite popular in US and Earnhardt and Gordon is great ...
but don't you guys care about F1 grand prix ? Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Meikl Schuhmacher ? These guys were and are also great ...

07-08-2001, 08:04 AM
racing's a white trash sport...no offense to anyone here though

07-08-2001, 08:53 AM
"I think I might cry."

I actually did shed a tear. http://www.contrabandent.com/pez/otn/sad/bncry.gif That was a great race(atleast the last 10-15 laps) and I don't even like NASCAR.

07-08-2001, 08:57 AM
How about golf and tennis ? Senna was Brazilian.
I guess all kinds of martial arts are just yellow trash arts ...

07-08-2001, 09:15 AM
I guess all kinds of martial arts are just yellow trash arts

LOL - NotEnuffEyesToSee

07-08-2001, 09:37 AM
Hot chicks really like a racer ... I envy those guys ...
Is Ashley Judd still dating Dario Franchitti ?
I don't care how you call it Murphy3, I just like fast cars ...

07-08-2001, 09:48 AM
I'm just messing with you notenufeyes.
i'm from texas, i have to like auto racing some

07-08-2001, 09:57 AM
Oh, man ... I know you're not a bad guy ...
Have a nice day, my man ...

Flying Tiger
07-08-2001, 04:02 PM
I think Ashley Judd is married to that racer..isn't she?

07-08-2001, 10:44 PM
Senna was the best, his death was a tragedy. Right now I like Michael Schuhmacher.
But what I really like is Motorcycle Racing. Valentino Rossi is just a god on two wheels. He proved it in Donington this Sunday.

07-09-2001, 08:19 AM
Isn't Meikl just 2 away to break the Alain Prost's record ? driver who has the most wins ? I rarely watch Motorcyle ...

07-09-2001, 08:50 AM
Hey, everyone ...
do you remember the cartoon series "Speedracer" ?
a young racer and his chick, a kid and his chimp ?
and its theme song goes like this
" Here he comes
Here comes Speed Racer
He's a demon on wheels
He's a demon
And he's gonna be chasin' after someone ..."

That one was a HUGE hit !!!!!

07-09-2001, 09:10 AM
I remember SpeedRacer. Didn't He drive a Ford GT40?

07-09-2001, 09:32 AM
Can't be ... that was a Japanese cartoon ...
do you think Japanese drive a Ford ? It was Mach 5, F1 machine ...

07-09-2001, 09:58 AM
but I think a Ford GT40 looks very similar to Mach 5 ...

07-09-2001, 02:17 PM
You may be right. Who makes the Mach 5? I've been trying to find a picture of it but can't.

07-10-2001, 07:33 AM
That's a cartoon, all fake ... altho you can see the real Mach 5 here (http://www.speedracer.la) ...

07-10-2001, 08:31 PM
Fort Worth Star Telegra,
Tuesday, July 10, 2001
Briefly in Sports
From Staff and Wire Reports

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s emotional victory in the Pepsi 400 on NBC Saturday night was the highest-rated prime time NASCAR Winston Cup event in history, according to figures released by Nielsen Media Research. Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s emotional victory in the Pepsi 400 on NBC Saturday night was the highest-rated prime time NASCAR Winston Cup event in history, according to figures released by Nielsen Media Research.

The first race carried by NBC/TNT as part of their six-year, $2.4 billion contract with NASCAR delivered a 5.8 overnight rating/11 share between 7 and 10:15 p.m., CDT. The 5.8 rating represents a 41 percent increase over last year's 4.1 overnight/9 share on CBS. The previous primetime record was a 4.9 overnight/10 share for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., on May 27. That race was televised by Fox.

Earnhardt Jr., 26, scored his third career Cup victory in the first race at the track where his father, Dale Earnhardt, was killed during the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18.

- John Sturbin

Flying Tiger
07-11-2001, 10:34 PM
I think all that conspiracy crap is bull. I can't believe that someone could be that inconsiderate.

07-12-2001, 10:58 AM
when people from the TV station ask the other racers and pit crews to "act" like they were excited for dale earnhardt jr so that they could further boost their ratings, I think it leaves an opening for suspicion that other things could have been going on.

Flying Tiger
07-13-2001, 11:31 AM
Man...I hadn't heard that.

07-13-2001, 02:10 PM
It wouldn't suprise me if it WAS set up, but watching it, it didn't appear that way to me.

07-13-2001, 02:15 PM
i can't stand auto racing..another so called "sport" that the world would be better off without
get rid of soccer, auto racing, and wrestling...and figure skating..they all rate about the same on the sorry scale